A stunning coastal viewpoint meets gorgeous native heath on the coast of Lake Macquarie. This is where you’ll find Awabakal Nature Reserve. On this adventure walk you’ll find plenty of surprises. I never get bored with experiencing a new perspective of Lake Mac.
The Awabakal Reserve coastal bushland, stretches approximately 228 ha from Dudley through to Redhead, with quite the historic ecosystem. From the headland viewpoint to walking among the heath, you’ll come to appreciate yet another amazing spot we have.
Getting to Awabakal Nature Reserve walk
You can start at either end of this trail, however, we decided on the Dudley end for our starting point. Head to the end of Ocean Road, Dudley and when you come to the cul-de-sac at the end, this is as far as you can go in the car. Park safely on the street, and walk-in. The entry is alone the extended road at the end of Ocean Street. Continue along this road on foot until you come to a gate. This is your Dudley end entry point.
If you would like to do this walk starting at Redhead, then your entry point is located on Collier Street, Redhead. You’ll find the entry point adjacent to Kay Ln, Redhead. There is plenty of places to park along Collier Street.
This walk is a good 1 1/2 hours (at least) round-trip. It’s not a super easy track, so we think it would suit kids 8 years old and above. It’s not pram friendly and no dogs are allowed on this reserve. If you have little ones and you would like to check it out, then I would suggest going in via the Dudley end and just wandering along to the Awabakal Viewpoint at the headland. This is a lovely little outing.
What a spectacular view of the north! This area isn’t fenced off so you must be careful, however, there are sandy tracks weaving out to the point. Our view was clouded by the weather, although it was perfect walking weather. We could see right into Newcastle, and the east-coast swell was awesome to watch from above. There were surfers out at Dudley Point making the most of it. The vegetation on the point was gorgeous. We talking about grass-trees (black boys) and how they need fire to reproduce. We watched for whales and noted this was the perfect viewpoint for whale watching. Make sure you bring your binoculars along.
Dudley to Redhead walk
When you’re ready to begin the walk, double back from the headland and take the first track to your left. The journey through the various habitats is simply amazing. You think, at first, you’re the only people in the bushland. However, this is a valued exercise track for the locals, so you’ll be sure to see others inside this coastal wonderland. The track widens, then narrows, and it also goes up and down in parts. One minute there is sand under your feet, the next leaf litter. Suddenly your out in the open with a view of the coastal health around you, then you’re inside an enclosed woodland. It truly is a unique part of Lake Macquarie and the flora is simply stunning.
Wildflowers to Black Wattle
From July to October you’ll find a spectacular display of wildflowers. You definitely don’t have to wait until then to see flowers though, as we discovered. The whole area is bursting with colour. We loved all the banksia and paperbark trees. You’ll find teatree, grass-trees (black boys), bottlebrush, wattle to name a few, plus a splattering of flowers all the way along the walk. If you take the track down to Redhead Lagoon you’ll find a wet eucalypt forest, a mossy bog, ferns and native orchids. This area has so much plant life, all with it’s own story to tell. Learn more about Awabakal Nature Reserve in this Handbook.
Discovering Awabakal Nature Reserve
This is definitely a place you can keep returning to and find something new each time. Take the track down to Redhead Lagoon, explore the side tracks, and immerse yourself in the amazing reserve. The Awabakal Environmental Education Centre website will provide further information on the area and how they offer fieldwork excursions for our local schools from K-12. We also recommend checking out this map from WildWalks.
Grab your water bottles, long pants (to avoid scratches) and a backpack, because we all know kids expect you to carry their stuff! Take a walk through this amazing piece of paradise. We know you’re going to love it.